Courtroom Concert Program Details
April 9, 2015, Noon
Courtroom 317, Landmark Center
Music of Gene Gutchë
Mill City String Quartet
Huldah Niles, violin; Erika Hoogeveen, violin
Valerie Little, viola; Jeffrey Erbland, cello
Fourth String Quartet, Op. 29, No. 1 – Gene Gutchë
Matthew McCright, piano
Theme and Variations – Gene Gutchë
Born in Berlin, Germany on July 3, 1907, young Gene Gutchë received little musical encouragement from his parents. At age 18 and with $500 in his pocket, he left his family and boarded a boat for America. There, working his way northward as a migrant farmer, he was finally able to train in music composition at the University of Minnesota (MA, 1950) and the University of Iowa (PhD, 1953). Best known for his orchestral repertoire, which includes six symphonies and numerous programmatic works, Gene Gutchë’s catalog also includes four string quartets, five concerti, and numerous smaller works for chamber ensembles. His music, performed nationally and internationally, was commissioned by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Florida Philharmonic, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic, and The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, among others. His awards include the Minnesota State Centennial Prize, the Oscar Espla International Composition Award, two Guggenheim Fellowships, and four grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. He died in White Bear Lake, Minnesota, in 2000.
Though writing in an atonal idiom, Gutchë’s music was not typical of his time. Called “refreshing” (New York Times, 1964), “unusually attractive” (St. Paul Pioneer Press), and “highly individual” (Music Courier), Gutchë’s vivid music is often imbued with lyricism, romance, and a healthy dose of humor.
Gutchë’s complete orchestral scores are available through the Fleisher Collection, and his chamber works are available from The Schubert Club.
Founded in the fall of 2007, the Mill City String Quartet (MCSQ) seeks to create exciting and diverse concerts for listeners both familiar and new to chamber music. Mill City String Quartet has premiered many new or lesser-known chamber music works, and enjoys working with living composers. In addition to their regular season of public concerts, other performances have included appearances at The Schubert Club, the James J. Hill houses, with singers of Kantorei, and the New Chamber Arts Guild. In late 2011, MCSQ released a recording of Christmas music, entitled “Christmas in Mill City.” It continues to be heard on Minnesota Public Radio throughout the holiday season.
In recent seasons, through grants from the Mankato Symphony, the Minnesota Legacy Amendment’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, and the Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council, MCSQ toured through rural communities throughout southern Minnesota. They were chosen as a 2014-15 Artist-in-Residence through Minnesota Public Radio’s Class Notes program. In addition to creating a curriculum for the school music teachers, MCSQ performs and teaches a world music program to students from pre-K to 5th grade. When not performing as a quartet, the members of Mill City String Quartet are active in the freelance community, performing with Minnesota Orchestra, Minnesota Opera, and the South Dakota, Mankato, Rochester, Minnetonka, and Dakota Valley Symphonies For more information visit millcityquartet.com.
American pianist Matthew McCright has performed extensively throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and the South Pacific as piano soloist and chamber musician. He has thrilled audiences and critics alike with imaginative programming that places the greatest piano repertoire alongside the music of today’s most innovative risk-takers. McCright currently resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota, teaches privately in the Twin Cities, and is a member of the piano faculty of Carleton College. He maintains an active performing schedule as one of the most sought after pianists of his generation in contemporary music. He has premiered numerous new pieces, many written for him, and has collaborated with countless composers across the globe.
An accomplished recording artist, McCright has released 4 solo recordings: 3 albums on innova Records (Second Childhood, A Waltz through Vapor, and Blender) and a 2011 release of the piano works of Gene Gutchë on Centaur Records. An upcoming release on Albany Records of the piano music of Olivier Messiaen is planned for 2015. The recipient of numerous awards, grants, and prizes, he has performed at festivals such as Bang on a Can at MassMOCA, Printing House Festival of New Music (Dublin), Late Music Festival (UK), Hampden-Sydney Chamber Music Festival, Kodály Institute, Perilous Night, Fringe, Bridge, Spark Festival of Electronic Music, Seward Arts, Music 2000, CCM Village Opening, and Minnesota Composers Alliance. McCright completed his Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Piano Performance from the University of Minnesota, Master of Music Degree in Piano from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati and earned his Bachelor of Music Degree in Piano Performance, Magna Cum Laude, from Westminster College. His past teachers include Lydia Artymiw, Lisa Moore, Nancy Zipay DeSalvo and Richard Morris. For more information please visit: www.matthewmccright.org
October through April
Thursdays from 12pm – 1pm
Courtroom 317, Landmark Center
Hosted by Schubert Club
Composer-in-Residence, Abbie Betinis.
View the Frequently Asked Questions about the Courtroom Concerts.
Seating is limited and first come first served. Doors open at 11:30. Please call if you are attending as a group of 10 or more (651.292.3267).
Schedule & Programs Subject to Change